This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

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Princeton University Press, Aug 7, 2011 - Business & Economics - 463 pages
20 Reviews

Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing--and recovering--their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different"--claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, This Time Is Different presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes--from medieval currency debasements to today's subprime catastrophe. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis, provocatively argue that financial combustions are universal rites of passage for emerging and established market nations. The authors draw important lessons from history to show us how much--or how little--we have learned.

Using clear, sharp analysis and comprehensive data, Reinhart and Rogoff document that financial fallouts occur in clusters and strike with surprisingly consistent frequency, duration, and ferocity. They examine the patterns of currency crashes, high and hyperinflation, and government defaults on international and domestic debts--as well as the cycles in housing and equity prices, capital flows, unemployment, and government revenues around these crises. While countries do weather their financial storms, Reinhart and Rogoff prove that short memories make it all too easy for crises to recur.

An important book that will affect policy discussions for a long time to come, This Time Is Different exposes centuries of financial missteps.

 

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Review: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

User Review  - Rick - Goodreads

Somewhat dry, but meticulously researched. Many graphs. This book puts financial crises into perspective. They've been going on for a long, long time. Somehow, the world manages to soldier on. This ... Read full review

Review: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

User Review  - Joe - Goodreads

Right at the beginning of the book, and in the middle of the book, the authors warn you that this book is not a narrative history of financial folly and that the book is pretty technical and dry ... Read full review

Contents

FIGURES
xvii
BOXES
xxiii
PREFACE
xxv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
xxxvii
SOME INITIAL INTUITIONS ON FINANCIAL FRAGILITY AND THE FICKLE NATURE OF CONFIDENCE
xxxix
FINANCIAL CRISES AN OPERATIONAL PRIMER
1
SOVEREIGN EXTERNAL DEBT CRISES
49
THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF DOMESTIC DEBT AND DEFAULT
101
THE US SUBPRIME MELTDOWN AND THE SECOND GREAT CONTRACTION
199
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
275
DATA APPENDIXES
293
NOTES
393
REFERENCES
409
NAME INDEX
435
SUBJECT INDEX
443
Copyright

BANKING CRISES INFLATION AND CURRENCY CRASHES
139

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About the author (2011)

Carmen M. Reinhart is the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. She was previously professor of economics at the University of Maryland. Kenneth S. Rogoff is the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics at Harvard University. He is a frequent commentator for "NPR", the "Wall Street Journal", and the "Financial Times".

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